ORILLIA TERRIERS MINOR MIDGET
The Scotiabank Orillia minor midget Terriers qualified for the Newmarket North American International Silver Stick finals by winning the Northumberland Silver Stick Regional Qualifier in December.
At the international finals this past weekend, the team finished the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 3-1 record. The local squad lost its opening game to the Stratford Warriors (3-1), but rebounded and went on to defeat teams from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (3-0), Glenwood Springs, Colorado (3-1), and Edmonton (3-1).
Through the round robin, the Terriers received great goaltending from Owen Cuff and Sam Burnett. The defensive group of Taylor Rehling, Curtis Gilbert, Mathew Sharpe, Owen Demeules and Tyler Fountain was solid.
The Terriers continued their strong play when they beat the Texas Jr. Stars 4-1 in a quarter-final game. In that game the Terriers received outstanding goaltending from Cuff. Cole Crowder, Braedan Downer and Finn Acton-Rinaldo each tallied a goal and an assist, while Rehling added a single marker. Liam McCrimmon contributed two assists while Joey Raseta, Raymond Haring and Avery Thurston had assists.
That win set up a semi-final rematch against the Stratford Warriors. The Terriers opened the scoring in the first with a goal from Downer, with assists to McCrimmon and Acton-Rinaldo. In the second period, the Warriors stormed back with three unanswered goals. The teams battled through the third period with the Warriors hanging on to their two-goal advantage. Then, with less than two minutes left in the game, coach Mike Borrelli pulled his goalie. With 42 seconds left, McCrimmon scored, with assists to Crowder and Acton-Rinaldo. Then, with 17 seconds left and Orillia’s goalie still on the bench, Gabe Neely scored the game-tying goal with the lone assist to Crowder, sending the game into overtime. In the fifth overtime period, Acton-Rinaldo scored to seal the dramatic victory with Crowder and Downer assisting.
The come-from-behind win set up a championship final against the Barrie Blue A team. In a tough battle, the Terriers came out victorious, scoring a 5-0 win with Cuff recording the shutout. Leading the way on offence were Acton-Rinaldo (2g-2a), Downer (1g,1a), Rehling (2a), Devin Bolyea (1g), McCrimmon (1g), Crowder (1a), Neely (1a) and Mathew Sharpe (1a).
The Silver Stick tournament has a 60-year history. And although Orillia teams have competed numerous times, they have only captured this prestigious title a handful of times. The International Silver Stick Association has been honored by having the original Silver Stick used for opening ceremonies in 1958 displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Each year, after all the Silver Stick Tournaments are completed in various age groups and divisions, a plaque is placed in the Hall of Fame display case listing the team names of all the champions for that year. Orillia will now have its name etched on that plaque.
Coach Mike Borrelli, his staff, and the Scotiabank Minor Midget Terrier players are very proud of their win and pleased to bring the Silver Stick home to Orillia.